Jurassic World: Dominion (Review): A Good Time to End This Franchise

Can Jurassic World: Dominion live up to the hype, or is this yet another Legacy sequel doomed to disappoint? Read on for my verdict:

Dinosaurs roam our world once more! The worst case scenario of Jurassic Park has come to pass. But how does humanity handle this influx of threats? And can a couple dinosaur experts save our world from destruction?

Let’s rip off this bandage: I’m disappointed to report that Jurassic World: Dominion does not live up to its premise. Fallen Kingdom set up Dominion with a heaps of potential on which the film never fully capitalizes… But what’s the problem?

Well, Jurassic World: Dominion takes place a couple years after the dinosaurs have spread across Earth. So humanity is mostly used to them by this time. The prehistoric creatures are a continually threatening presence, but a mere fact of life.

Humans seem to have the “problem” largely under control. Big corporations (namely Biosyn) keep many dinosaurs contained within new habitats. And many other dinos get domesticated for breeding, general labor, or for black market auctions– even dangerous ones.

This status quo undermines one of Jurassic Park’s best aspects: its shock and awe factor. Living dinosaurs used to be treated as miraculous, terrifying, and concerning. Now everyone is so matter-of-fact about them– even when they walk our Earth unchecked. Why should we care or be concerned about these events if the movie’s own characters don’t care? That’s a trick question: we shouldn’t. Or, at least, we struggle more to care than we otherwise would.

Jurassic World: Dominion feels like the sequel AFTER the movie we should have gotten in its place.

Jurassic World: Dominion features two plots which have little to do with one another. They didn’t even have a thematic undercurrent which connected them. And I wasn’t especially invested in either story.

In the one: the original cast of Jurassic Park attempts to find proof of an evil corporation’s plan to cover up their involvement in unleashing a dinosaur plague of locusts. The other features the Jurassic World cast searching for that clone girl from the second movie.

What does that have to do with dinosaurs, you might ask? Very little. The locusts are a little closer (which is probably why I preferred that plot) but these are not the plots for which you go to see a Jurassic Park movie…

All this said: I didn’t dislike Dominion. It’s not a bad flick if you can get past your annoyance of its wasted potential. It’s not good either, to be clear. but still… Let’s cover more of the bad before I tell you the things I enjoyed:

Jurassic World: Dominion is weirdly paced. It’s a long film, and feels no shorter than it is. I was never bored, per se, but I was underwhelmed for large sections of the film. Sequences (particularly action ones) dragged on too long and lost my interest. There was little of substance to keep my mind engaged for extended periods.

Dominion also features choppy editing. This makes the geography of scenes hard to pin down, and forced my attention onto the editor’s choices rather than on the story. That’s, of course, a no-no in movie-making. Immersion is a must with these things! It must not be broken– especially not from avoidable distractions like a film’s editing style. A sign of good editing is when you aren’t thinking about the editing!

I should speak of the parts I liked now (though there will still be criticisms sprinkled in between my praise):

Jurassic World: Dominion is action heavy, which keeps up the entertainment value. And the action is half-way decent. The scenes have good momentum, obstacles, stunts, and effects. There’s plenty of tense moments which kept me more on edge than I expected.

Jurassic World: Dominion seemed to combine CGI and Practical effects better than the last few movies managed. The dinosaurs seemed to be CG (solid work at that) yet any item with which they interacted looked real to me– stuff they broke, stood on, or by which they were hit.

The sets in this film seemed real too, for the most part, which I appreciate. CGI is unavoidable in films like this, but the more practical effects in there the better. They keep the world tangible and ground the crazier elements of a film’s narrative. And more real things on camera lets the VFX artists focus on the effects which actually matter– hence why the dinosaurs here look a lot better than other effects-heavy movies I’ve watched lately.

Onto characters now: Claire and Owen remain thinly developed. Their goal is very straightforward (and straight-up insane). But the charisma of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard is enough to carry their plot. Or at least to not make it completely boring.

Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern carry Jurassic World: Dominion
(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

I carry no great nostalgia for the original Jurassic Park movies but I think the old cast’s return was handled well. And fans will be happy with them: Alan and Ellie at least carry more gravitas than Claire and Owen. Their plot-line felt more believable than the former’s, though it was still sorta silly.

Jeff Goldblum gets all if Jurassic World 3’s most funny and poignant thoughts. His charm keeps the back half of Dominion light. Honestly, most of the parts I liked in this thing we because of his performance.

Speaking of: the film’s enjoyability explodes once the Jurassic Park and World casts combine forces. But you’ve got to wait most of the movie for that to happen. And, even when they did get together, I wish they could have had more meaningful interactions. There was no good reason for their team-up other than that they were in the same place at the same time. But it was still a good time while it lasted.

Mamoudou Athie was another highlight of this film! I’ve never seen him before this movie, and he didn’t have a TONNE of screen time, but he won me over. And I wanna see him in more things now.

Jurassic World 3’s plot is weak, and doesn’t live up to its potential; its characters are two-dimensional; the pacing is weird. But there’s some good effects, and entertaining enough action to go around. I didn’t exactly like Dominion, but it entertained me. So it did its job.

If you’re a fan of Jurassic Park and have followed all the movies, I’d say this one is definitely Worth a Watch.
But if you’re a casual film-goer just looking for something to kill time, this one’s fun enough If You’re Bored.

Can this franchise ever regain its former glory? What did you think of Jurassic World: Dominion? Please share your thoughts in the comments (no spoilers please). If you have any ideas for future articles, or any questions, let me know. Also be sure to Like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!

Till next time,

Joe Morin

By Joseph Morin

Joe's passion for film and entertainment began at 7 years old when his younger brother demanded to watch Duel of the Fates every day for weeks (on DVD). Joe admired the sequence so much, he decided to dedicate his life to film-making and storytelling. He has a degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. Joe loves DC superheroes (especially Superman), the first six Star Wars movies, and arguing about media with anyone who will listen.


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